By Luke Feeney
Most people would wince at the thought of putting a needle in their pet. However, at Long Island Veterinary Acupuncture this is their specialty.
Long Island Veterinary Acupuncture, founded in 2008 by Dr. Nina Malik, specializes in treating cats and dogs and exotic animals. Malik believes in a holistic approach to helping out house pets. The practice aims to “Look at your pet from a Western medical point of view (physical exam and test results) and an Eastern point of view… the lifestyle of your pet, their personality, and underlying patterns that may be at the root of their medical problems,” according to Malik’s website statement.
“We offer other therapies but for the most part 95 percent of the animals we see we can treat with acupuncture” Malik said. The procedure is preformed with thin, stainless, sterlized needles. The clinics website notes that “It is not painful and your pet may only feel the needle as it goes through the skin for a second, if at all. Many animals relax and may even fall asleep with their needles in place.” The procedure has been shown to help manage musculoskeletal diseases, gastrointenstial disorders and behavioral problems among others.
The practice will typically see up to 12 animals a day. In general, animals are usually treated for four to five weeks. Malik said the initial meeting with a pet is typically an hour.
After the initial meeting she will meet with the pet once a week for 30 to 40 minutes per session. In the cases where acupuncture may not work the clinic can also offer electric stimulation and herbal remedies. “We are not a vet hospital, but we can do bloodwork on the animals if needed,” Malik added.
She said her approach to treatment can be traced back to her upbringing. “I’m of Indian descent, working with herbs was something I already was comfortable with,” Malik said.
After receiving her degree from Cornell University, she was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s emergency animal hospital. “There were high euthanasia rates in the hospital, and I just thought there had to be another way,” Malik said. After her time at the hospital she was trained and certified in veterinary acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.
In the years since she opened the clinic at 1924 Wantagh Ave., Malik has received recognition for her work, including winning best veterinarian on Long Island in 2010 and 2011, along with being honored with Best OutPatient Health Care Service in Wantagh in 2021.
To learn more about Long Island Veterinary Acupuncture, go to liveterinaryacupuncture.com/home. For an appointment call (516) 404-1529.